Human Rights between the Local and Global

A Case Study of the Seoul Human Rights Ombudsperson

In: Asia-Pacific Journal on Human Rights and the Law
Andrew Wolman Professor, Hankuk University of Foreign Studies, Graduate School of International and Area Studies, Seoul, Korea,

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Over the last two decades, municipal human rights institutions have proliferated around the world. One of the newest examples of such initiatives is the Seoul Human Rights Ombudsperson Office, which was established in January 2013 as one of the core institutions of human rights protection in Seoul, Korea. This article will present a case study of the operations of the Seoul Human Rights Ombudsperson Office based on interviews and documentary research. It will focus on the question of how this newly established institution fits into the existing human rights regime, and in particular address three distinct issues, namely the degree to which the Seoul Human Rights Ombudsperson Office reflects local versus national or international influences, the types of institutional relationships it has with other human rights actors, and the degree to which it implements local versus national or international human rights norms.

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